God’s Fierce Protection
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I will trust.”
“She’s a Bethlehem Donkey. They get the name from their markings. If you look closely, you’ll see a brown stripe down her back and across her shoulder making the shape of a cross.” That’s how the owner introduced me to the new donkey that arrived with a small herd of cattle. “And keep your dogs away. She’s fierce when it comes to protecting those calves!” he added. Then it happened. Lady-the-Lab calmly walked under the fence to check out the new arrivals. The Bethlehem Donkey’s brisk trot caught our eye as she headed for Lady. A brief encounter brought a frightened howl from Lady who headed home where she belonged. Cows, calves and the rancher can relax knowing the Bethlehem donkey provides fierce protection from coyotes and other predators.
Knowing I’m also being watched over by God’s protection allows me to relax as I drop off to sleep, wait for the lab results or careen down the interstate. God watches over me. The author of Psalm 91, uses multiple analogies for God’s care, and all of them bring me comfort: shelter, refuge, fortress, covering of His wings, dwelling place, angels that guard our ways, rescue and protection. The Psalmist even clearly states in verse 15, “I will be with him in trouble.”
There’s a conditional clause, though. All of these assurances are available to a very specific group of people identified in verse one, He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. Ah, a stipulation for God’s protection—dwelling in His presence. Just like Lady-the-Lab left the safety of her yard, I too can stray from a “dwelling and resting” lifestyle. I’m tempted every day to trust in my own strength and to find my own way rather than spending time seeking God’s leadership through His Word and through prayer.
Father, keep me in the shelter of Your presence. Open my ears and heart to your wooing love calling me to rest in the shadow of the Almighty. May I too be able to proclaim with the Psalmist, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I will trust.”